Mass Casualty Incident in Park View 16 Patients Transported with minor injuries

@dcfireems tweeted at 2:30:

“Mass Casualty Incident – 700blk of Kenyon St. NW – Units on scene. 16pts being transported with minor injuries to local hospitals.”

Update from the Washington Post:

“At least 16 people, most of them students at Caesar Chavez Public Charter School in Northwest Washington, were taken to hospitals Tuesday afternoon after someone sprayed pepper spray into a classroom, according to D.C. police.”

15 Comment

  • Given the block, I’m going to guess this is a car accident involving a school bus.

  • Appears that someone sprayed peeper spray in a classroom at a school.

  • I understand that this is a technical term, but “mass casualty incident” doesn’t seem to be the best way to describe what happened here.

    • Actually, Mass Casualty Incident is the perfect term for this sort of thing.

      Mass = more than a few injuries, in this case 16 patients requiring transportation
      Casualty = a person who is harmed (in this case sufficient to warrant a hospital visit)
      Incident = as opposed to accident, which implies no liability

      How would you describe such incidents?

      • I clearly took issue with the words “mass” and “incident” – thank you for elucidating that for me, chief. I’d venture that the vast majority associates the word casualty with death. A quick survey of commonly accepted dictionary definitions would lead you to think the same.

    • I Dont Get It

      Didn’t we already have this discussion?

  • Certainly, the police wont be changing their usage, and it’s very easy to copy and paste their announcements, so I see why it still gets used – but I really do think that it would be better if it wasn’t reported that way, excepting case where there are actually fatalities.

  • That’s what caused the confusion about the term ‘casualty’ in the first place, only using it when there are deaths. I hope that the general public having greater access to EMS communications will lead to better understanding of the terms.

  • I used to think the word “casualty” meant someone who had died, and was surprised when I was watching some war-related documentary on PBS and realized that they were using “casualty” to mean “injured person.”

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